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8 Answers

91.205 day and night VFR

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Aircraft Systems, Helicopter

Does anyone have any acronyms to help them remember the required equipment for 91.205 day and night VFR? 

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8 Answers



  1. danielboy on Aug 03, 2017

    This is what I used when I went to OU.

    TOMATO FLAMES + FLAPS

    Tachometer
    Oil pressure gauge
    Manifold pressure
    Air speed indicator
    Temperature gauge (for liquid cooled engine(s))
    Oil temperature gauge

    Fuel quantity gauge
    Landing gear position light
    Altimeter
    Magnetic heading indicator
    Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)
    Seat belt

    plus at night

    Fuses (back up)
    Landing lights
    Anti-collision lights
    Position lights
    Source of Power

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  2. Mark Kolber on Aug 03, 2017

    Forget the acronym. I’ve been doing an informal survey for about 20 years – online forum quiz and questioning on flight reviews. Pilots who learned the burning fruit acronym were more likely to get a simple required equipment question wrong than those who never heard of it,

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  3. Mark 2 on Aug 03, 2017

    What would Mark suggest? If something goes out then check to see if it’s on the list? Forget about memorizing the list?

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  4. Dave M on Aug 03, 2017

    The acronym I remember is: A tomatoE flames

    The extra “A” is for Anti-collision lights. You still need them in the day (for small aircraft certified after March 11, 1996.

    The extra “E” is for Emergency Equipment. Flotation devices, etc. if operating way from shore for hire.

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  5. John D Collins on Aug 04, 2017

    I am in Mark’s camp. Understanding is a higher level of learning than rote memory. Most of this stuff is obvious and common sense. Look thru 91.205 and ask yourself why is this item required? I have been flying almost 50 years and never needed to memorize some burning fruit.

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  6. Mark 2 on Aug 04, 2017

    Seems handy to have a mental checklist to get you through a checkride, though. Or do DPE’s care if you break out a FAR/AIM?

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  7. Mark Kolber on Aug 09, 2017

    Mark 2,

    Yes. Forget about memorizing the list.

    The problem isn’t having a list. The problem is teaching the mnemonic has, according to my informal survey, led many pilots to think 91.205 is all-inclusive. The survey over the last 20 years has involved asking an airworthiness question about a piece of equipment that is required but isn’t in 91.205. Common answer by those who have memorized the list: “it’s not on [mnemonic deleted], so you are good to go.” Even CFIs have answered this way.

    Inop equipment analysis , unless one has a MEL (another seriously mistaught concept with many thinking it is the equipment list in the POH), starts with 91.213(d) where you find 91.205 is only a minor stop along the way.

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  8. Mark Kolber on Aug 10, 2017

    >>Seems handy to have a mental checklist to get you through a checkride, though. Or do DPE’s care if you break out a FAR/AIM?

    Part of a checkride is demonstrating the ability to find regulatory and other information you have not memorized. Consider the difference between the “bold face” items on an emergency checklist and doing a preflight inspection and finding the stall warning horn inop. One requires memorization; the other has plenty of time for you to look it up.

    Yes that mental checklist will get you through the checkride if the DPE asks you about something on that list. What if he doesn’t? What if he gives you the stall warning scenario. How does the burning fruit help you answer that one?

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